Have you ever converted anyone into an audiophile? How did you do it?

Have you ever converted anyone into an audiophile? How did you do it?
Converted a relative
12% (14 votes)
Converted a friend
46% (55 votes)
Converted a roommate
1% (1 vote)
Converted a customer
1% (1 vote)
13% (15 votes)
No conversions yet
28% (34 votes)
Total votes: 120

Audiophiles all have to start somewhere, and some of us may have even spread the word a little. Have you?

Nikolaj Hermann's picture

It is usually very easy, if they have just a small interest, you just make a few good demo, with the right gear for the right price and then... after a few years BANG

TGD's picture

It seems I converted most of my girlfriends. They were not bitten by the high-end bug, but they found out that they could hear audible differences when shopping for their $1000 systems, and usually ended spending a bit more. But the best fun was the reaction of their friends: "But, this amp has only two knobs! How can it cost $400?" "Aren't this speakers too big?" (two-way bookshelfs with 5" woofers). In the latest conversion the parents of my girlfriend went out of their heads, because she spend $400 on speakers and $600 on an amp "that didn't even have a remote". Assisted by the excellent acoustics of her living room, this setup with her old $200 CD player threw a wall-to-wall, up-to-the-back-window, half-way-to-the-ceiling soundstage. The parents are shopping for a new stereo at the moment :-)

Dan Landen's picture

Where's the converted spouse or significant other? I am working on my spouse, and she does agree that differences can be heard in different types of gear. She does prefer the tube sound over solid-state's harsher presentation.

Jeff Wollenslegel's picture

Conversion is easy if the person has a "decent ear"...just a quick listen to a good system (mine) is all it takes!

Karl Richichi, U.T.  Film Dept.'s picture

I converted my wife and here brother. My wife now has a very small Linn stereo in her office. Her brother now has some pretty nice stuff at home. Mostly second hand Linn and Cello stuff.

aProud's picture

I've spread the word a lot. Not that my friends are going out and trading their car for a stereo or anything, but they are listening to the music and trying to make the most of their current system and if it doesn't give them the sound they're looking for we replace the weakest link. It's not the price of the stereo, but how happy YOU are with it.

Lee Lieberman's picture

My old girlfriend's 16-year-old son, who is now 30. He has some mid-fi equipment and never ceases to lament its lack of capability compared to my Krell/Spectral/Goldmund/Linn system. He is only now getting a well-salaried position to get a nice system of his own. He likes good sound and is converting his roommate and their friends.

Jeff Vinklarek's picture

My wife, my friends, and my family have all been consumed by my obsession. My ultimate goal in life is to save all from the depths of mid-fi hell. I show no mercy to all of the plebians who dwell in the Circuit City, Best Buy, and Tweeter/Home Entertainments of the world. There is no hope for these diseased few. Clients who shop in these stores of mid-fi hell will most likely know more than the salesman. The salesman will then rob the client of all knowledge and convince them of outlandish lies. "Yes sir, this here receiver has 2000W per channel." How unfortunate. Another unsuspecting individual has been infected. Yes, I have spread the word. I shall continue to save the few who are willing to know the truth and crawl out of mid-fi hell.

Stephen Curling Vsx1@aol.com's picture

although no full convertions (resistance is futile), i have made several people more aware of their muscial environment and they have sought to change those surroundings.

Obin Robinson's picture

All I did was let them listen to some music on their system first. Then I let them hear the same music on mine. That's all it took!

Jerry Garrotto's picture

Back in 1994 (?), an acquaintance who owned a nightclub laughed about my purchase of some Kimber Silver Streak interconnects. I invited him over and he auditioned some techno-beat music, which I thought would be useless, but he was amazed at all the layering that he heard. At that point he said that it really did sound better than anything he had heard, but that it (my whole system, approx. $12k ) wasn't worth the money. Two weeks later he requested an audition of several CDs and once again was amazed at all the other layers he was clearly hearing. In a few days I helped him buy over $7000 worth of new and used high-end gear. He apologized for his prior arrogance.

Mannie Smith's picture

I actually reintroduced a friend to audiophilia who, 25 years earlier, had college roommates with good equipment. His love of music and my conversations about about listening with my equipment got his juices flowing.

Ken Hotte's picture

I have converted friends, relatives, customers, enemies, others, etc. Musicians, whatever . . . It's a simple task when implemented in the right fashion. Just give them the most real musical experince of their lives for a while . . . then take it away.

Michael Crespo's picture

I've converted many of my friends because they are all music lovers and fairly well-to-do. All I really had to do was demo my stereo and put on some delicious-sounding VINYL. I have never converted anyone using CDs. Perhaps that should tell us something.

Carlos L.'s picture

I just sat them on my "system sweet spot" and let them hear (sometimes for hours) the CDs they brought from their homes. That's all it took me to convert a few friends.

Bernard Durand's picture

A friend of mine, Luc who always enjoyed music, being a musician himself, always took pleasure in listening at my system since his system was quite modest and would have never spent the money on an elaborated system. Luc was looking at replacing his older Dunlop Clark power amp and was badly looked upon and received one rather large audio store, were I also buy from time to time. I sent him to my favourite little shop were the majority of the people would never set foot. To make a long story short, he as not only replaced his power amp but the rest of his system in less then a year. I even predict he will upgrade his speakers within a year! He loves the way this place just lets you take things home but most important, the friendly welcoming atmosphere. Not only a good sounding system can convert an individual but also the way a place can make you feel.

Daniele Nassiacos's picture

I invite my friends listening to the difference on the sound (usually the first step is permitting the appreciation of the purity and liveliness of the sound; the accuracy on reproduction of the soundstage comes later.

Chief Inquisitor Paul's picture

I have performed conversions before, although I take a Spanish Inquisition-like approach. First, I get the non-audiophile to admit that they like their present Sanyo rack system, or some similar admission. Then I begin the process of "conversion." I start mildly, by throwing Shun Mook discs at their head while screaming "How do you like the imaging now?" I then escalate to biwired shock therapy. (For some reason, when you shock someone with a biwired cable, they sound more natural when they scream.) As a final resort, I close them in an Iron Maiden lined with Tiptoes (the long ones, of course), and then ask them if they can feel the reduction in vibration from external sources. Heat from large output tubes is also very useful, and can roast people to varying degrees. Also effective is using a RoomTunes or Salamander adjustable rack to slowly squeeze various sensitive body bits until they repent and cry, "I have seen the Laser Stoplight!" or "Vinyl is Divinyl!" (Sorry about the last one.)

James Bays's picture

I converted one of my best high school buddies. We listened to music together and traded equipment all of the time. He kind of drifted off because his young kids were tearing his equipment up. They're grown now; I expect him back any day.

Robert Hamel's picture

A friend of a friend who knew we liked the same music, so he came over to listen to a new LP. My stereo blew him away and we've been in a casual competition for the last 27 years. P.S. He's got it bad! Now he blows ME away.

Dave W.'s picture

A few of the people I work with have begun putting together entry-level high-end systems. All we did was listen. With good equipment, the music does the rest.

Pedue's picture

Its not worth it. Most people just dont get it. They're happy to get their 200 disc "Fisher" changer and their 1000 watt Techniques receiver and they're happy as can be. So I'm done with that; good or bad who knows. I've got my system and I'm sure to some people I look the same to them as the people I just described look to me? So if people ask, I'll be the first to explain what I know but for the most part you know people who want to be "converted" and the people who are happy with how little they really know about hi-fi.

Norm Strong's picture

Heavens no! That would be a terrible thing to do to a music lover. Sort of like converting someone who enjoys a glass of jug wine with dinner to a taste so critical that he now has to pay $20/bottle in order to enjoy it.

Gary L.  Myers's picture

I usually just keep my mouth shut and expose people to good music. I find no point in saying anything unless they ask.

tony's picture

Was converted - My best friend ruined my life. Until I heard his Dynaudio 2.8's being driven by an old McIntosh MC2255 amp, I thought my Bose speakers were just fine. Now that I spent a small fortune upgrading I wouldn't wish this curse on anyone.

Brian Ravnaas's picture

Let them here a pair of very, very decent sounding loudspeakers that cost very little. Let them here one of my tube amps -vs- a denon reciever. No one thinks that amps matter, show them and they will believe. Few will be converted by giga-buck stuff, many will by things they can afford, or by the unexpected. Only CG, of all writers for your staff, will ever convert anyone from younger generations. The way you complement low-cost things is pukishly condescending. No one wants to here that. CG's presence in a true high end mag was good, his absence scares me a little.

Sam Loftin's picture

Does selling my old equipment to friends and relatives count? They all like to get my old equipment at bargain prices, but none of them has turned into the weird/obsessive-compulsive/anal-retentive audiophiles that I read about. They just enjoy listening to music through a good system.

Clay's picture

I'm working on a friend right now who mentioned buying some Bose speakers. I'm trying to convince him to listen some speakers he has never heard before.

Paul Foley, Whiteman AFB,MO's picture

I have converted a few folks to be an audiophile. Usually I do this thru the love of music. We talk about the latest recording and our favorites from the past. I try to gauge what kind of music they enjoy and what kind the might like. I lent them some of my records, with an eye toward records that are well recorded. That sound of a well-recorded music picks their ears and they want to know more. I try to get them over to the house to listen to my system. So they can hear the difference between components that are made with care; to make music and ones that are no more than something to play a record on. I always let people know that there is better audio equipment out there and that if you like music you will love it over an audiophile system. It

Guy A.  Knuth's picture

Many years ago, around 25 to be exact, I aroused the curiosity of a friend with a simple demonstration of something most people consider of little consequence. I was admittedly in my infancy of audiophilia at the time. I played some classical works on my old standby Shure M95ED, then replaced that cartridge with an Ortophon moving-coil and replayed the same piece. The look of amazement told me he was hooked! He moved to Canada a few months later, worked for a year, built up a nice entry-level system, and, as always happens . . . began upgrading. He ultimately built his own preamp based on a John Hilleg/Hafler design, upgraded his AR-ES1 with a kit from Merrill, and became involved with his then brother-in-law designing speakers. (The brother-in-law, Cedric Keinker, worked for Klipsch.) Needless to say, I am quite proud of my attempts to involve people in something I derive a great amount of pleasure from myself, but none have been so fervently absorbed as my friend James Cameron (who I hope is still on your subscriber list). I haven't seen him in two years, as he is now residing in Canada once more.